Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living Room Progress

I am *so close* to finishing the living room, but I know the last few projects could end up taking me a while to complete so I thought I'd share the progress we've made.

We've painted, taken down half a wall, added bamboo shades, bought and assembled new furniture  - I guess we've done a lot!



I'm doing my best to reuse and repurpose a lot of the stuff I kept from my old house (my ex and I split everything so I didn't end up with all of the furniture).  You might recognize the painting above the mantle from my old guest bedroom.  I had one of these arm chairs in my old bedroom and I purchased a second to make a pair.  The lamps and table are also from my old house.

I have plans to update the dirty red brick and tile with dark taupe brick paint and/or new tile.



I purchased this Hemnes media unit from Ikea.  It actually doesn't come all in one set, so I bought 4 separate pieces that I could assemble together.  The baskets are from Pier 1 and the coffee table is the Cameron Coffee Table from World Market.  We have "poor-mans" hardwood floors (basic pine in the middle and oak around the perimeter) so I had to order a VERY large rug to cover the "poor man" part.  I ended up custom-ordering a rug from The Perfect Rug and I'm very happy with the quality.  The sofa is actually one piece of the gray sectional shown above. I gave the sectional to my sister and  I ordered the Paidge Sofa from West Elm in Hazy Taupe performance velvet.   The new sofa actually arrived today, but after I snapped these pics.  I'll be sure to include it in the next update.



I had a radiator custom-made by Fichman.  I can't say enough about their quality and service.  I ordered 4 different radiator covers and the top piece to this one arrived scratched.  They replaced it without question and super fast.

We replaced the old curtains with these bamboo shades from Select Blinds and caught them on a sale. Wait for their sales!



Last but not least, we took down half the wall in the living room.  It did wonders to open up the space to the rest of the house and it's one of the changes I'm most excited about!

There are a few things left on my list before I can call this room done:

1. Hang Photos
2. DIY Art
3. Make and Hang Curtains
4. Paint brick around fireplace
5. New sofa
6. New pillows?

For the curtains, I'm using this great fabric called "Twist of Fate: Mustard."  Loom Decor had it for $36/yard and I could not justify it, but then I found the same fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric in the special order section and caught it on sale!  Now i just have to get around to making the curtains.  It could be months people...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY Deck Makeover - Our First Finished Project

Our DIY deck makeover is finally complete (and we lived to tell!).

The deck was looking pretty weathered.  It hadn't been stained in years (maybe ever?), the wood was starting to rot and splinter and the rails were bowing.

We wanted to give the existing structure a facelift without spending too much money. First, Matt replaced some rotted boards.

And then he pressure washed the deck and removed the old rails.

We had to wait a week for the deck to dry out before we could begin painting. Matt's family had used Behr DeckOver with success so we thought we'd give it a try ourselves.  We chose "Atlantic" for the color which gives it a really nautical look, but living in Maine, it's perfect!

Matt rolled on two coats on the deck.  The paint is super thick, but it does a good job of filling in cracks. I took a very small paint brush and painted the cracks between the boards.  That was probably the most time consuming part of the project.

I was a little afraid the deck was going to end up looking like a giant Smurf and I'll admit there was a moment after we painted it that I was really worried, but there was no turning back.  I decided to paint the trim, and risers white to give it some contrast and I love it!  I just used regular outdoor paint for the trim and risers, so I'll be interested to see how it holds up.

Instead of painting the exiting rails we decided to replace them.  We bought pieces of the Veranda pre-built rails from Home Depot.  They are made of vinyl and are virtually maintenance-free.  We used the existing four posts and covered them with vinyl post sleeves and caps then secured the pre-built rails in between them.  We had to do a lot of measuring and cutting to get everything to fit right. A compound miter saw was our best friend for this project. It took us some time to get a system down for measuring, making the cuts, and installing and this part of the project took us an entire day.  If we had to do it again, I'm sure we could do it much faster second time around.  We also replaced the lattice around the bottom of the deck.  One large sheet was enough to cover the perimeter.

We're very happy with the results and the whole project (including supplies) only cost us about $600.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Half Walls Are My Jam

As with most older homes, our home does not have an open floor plan.  The first floor actually has a somewhat strange layout.  We have two bedrooms on the first floor (one we use as a home office), a full bathroom,  living room, kitchen/dining room, and sunroom.

Matt joked when we first moved in that he just wanted to "tear down a wall, any wall."  Problem is, there isn't an obvious wall to tear down.  

Enter compromise: a half wall.  

Changing a full wall to a half wall in the living room would allow us to keep the furniture layout unchanged,  but also create a more open and airy space which we were really lacking. Plus, I already knew how much a half wall could change a space because I did something similar at my old house (see here).

So we got to it and tore down the wall (well, we contracted someone to do it for us).  The wall is structural so we had to have a beam installed.

Here's a reminder of the living room and the wall I'm referring to (and also a sneak peek of some of the work we've done!):

When we moved in


Here's a view of the other side of the wall when you're standing in the kitchen:

From the bedrooms

And here's what it looks like with half the wall removed:


The job is being finished on Monday and then we'll finally be able to put the finishing touches on the living room and move along to the next project (and oh we have projects!)

If you follow on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen that we've also been fixing up our deck this summer.  We are *so close* to being done so I'll have the finished photos and details  on the blog soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 1 Hour Room

Hello!  I left off with our living room updates and we've made some great progress.  I'll have a post for you soon, but today I want to share a new space in our home; our loft area.

Photo from Zillow

I apologize for the poor photo quality, but it gives you a good sense of the space.  In the 90s the previous homeowners put a second story addition on the house and created these great cathedral ceilings with skylights.  There are 2 bedrooms and a full bath upstairs as well as this little space at the landing.

The listing described the space as a study and I can definitely see that working, but we're currently using a 4th bedroom as the office.  I thought it might be nice to use this area as a tv/reading nook since we don't have a tv in our bedroom and the only other tv-watching space is the formal living room.

Because of the slanted ceilings, furniture size and layout is limited so I thought that a chair-and-a-half would work well.  After scouring the options, I landed on the Willow Twin Sleeper Sofa from Crate & Barrel in Spruce.  There were more affordable options that I liked, but our stairway is so narrow that this is one of the only ones that would fit.  Also, the twin sleeper will be nice to have when guests stay over.

Willow Twin Sleeper Sofa

After waiting almost 2 months for this custom chair to arrive, it came today (and 2 hours before my scheduled delivery time.  Woo hoo!).  When the delivery guys arrived I first held my breath thinking it wouldn't fit up the stairs and I'd be stuck with a sleeper sofa and no place to put it, but promptly celebrated with a happy dance when it did.  Then I immediately dropped everything else I was doing and threw together a room in less than an hour.

I "shopped" my house for some other furniture and accessories and threw together a neat little space (I won't share the rooms I shopped - they're now a disaster, ha!)

View as you come up the stairs

Bathroom  and stairs to left and spare bedroom straight ahead

Master bedroom straight ahead

Of course, this is just a start.  I want to paint the walls, get a larger rug, paint the side table, hang some art, but it's still a functional room right now which is light years away from where it was this morning. Progress feels so good!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project Living Room: The Furniture

We are making slow but steady progress on the living room.  We painted the walls a beautiful blue/green color called Night Mist by Benjamin Moore and we're about half way done painting the trim Benjamin Moore white.  

I had a Jacob Chair from Boston Interiors that I moved from my old house and I purchased another one so we'll have two flanking the fireplace.  I ordered a new sofa, coffee table, woven shades, and a media unit.  Things are starting to arrive, but we won't have our new sofa until September.  I chose the Paidge Sofa from West Elm in Hazy Taupe Performance Velvet.  With two dogs, a lighter colored sofa will not hold up.  The Cameron Coffee Table from World Market was a great steal and I'm super happy with the quality, but the surface stains easily.  I read suggestions to put a protective coat on the surface.  I painted on one coat of a water-based polyurethane in satin finish and it worked great. 

Living Room Design - The Furniture

1. Ikea Hemnes TV/Storage * 2. Select Blinds Express Woven Wood Shades (Buckeye) * 3. Boston Interiors Jacob Chair (Natural) * 4. World Market Cameron Coffee Table * 5. Benjamin Moore Night Mist Paint * 6. West Elm Paidge Sofa (Hazy Taupe)

I also ordered a custom radiator cover from Fichman Furniture which should arrive in a few weeks:

My plan is to create a casual, comfortable, beachy space and to accessorize with pops of yellow to brighten things up.  

The Ikea media unit arrived yesterday so next step is getting that assembled which should be a real treat.  Oh Ikea, you are so necessary, but so evil. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

New House, New Blog

Hi! Welcome to Project House to Home.  It feels so good to be blogging again!

Where to begin? Well, a lot has changed this year. I left off over at Home with Baxter letting you know that I sold my house last December.  I moved to an apartment with the dogs for 7 months, and to be honest, lacked any motivation to decorate or work on any projects.  I did do a slew of custom mood board projects, but with my new financial planning job it was hard to keep up.  I made the decision to stop my design services and am no longer accepting clients. This was a difficult decision for me because I really enjoy the work, but I really believe in finding work/life balance and at the end of the day, there's only so much time.

But on to the exciting news!  I bought a new house in Maine with my boyfriend, Matt, and we have plenty of projects to tackle. The house is a 1940s Cape Cod style home with lots of charm, but it needs some work.  I am SUPER excited to have projects again!

We've had such a beautiful summer that we've been spending a lot of time outdoors trying to enjoy it while it lasts, so progress on the house has been slow.  I've taken away some lessons from remodeling my first house, one being that I will finish projects before starting new ones.  The first project we're working on is our living room.  The changes are cosmetic (paint, window treatments, and new furniture).  Here's a look at the room before we started any work.

The ceiling and fireplace have great detail.  The plan is to paint the fireplace surround and all trim bright white (almost done!) and paint the brick a gray color.  We may tile the hearth.

The floor plan is pretty challenging considering this is our only true "tv watching" room.  Originally we wanted to mount the television above the fireplace but we found out we can't do that.  Our fireplace has a heatilator which means it blows out and circulates air.  You may notice that there are two vents above the fireplace and we're told we can't cover them. Since we want to use our fireplace in the winters, we had to come up with another solution.  I really like the two windows that flank the fireplace so the current tv location I really dislike.  The plan is to move the tv to the wall opposite the fireplace (the wall that our sectional is currently residing on in the photo below).  This will mean we have two focal points, which most designers would tell you is a no-no, but hey, sometimes you have to break the rules!

My sister is taking the sectional and I ordered a smaller sofa instead.  I plan to use Ikea shelving to create a media wall for the TV. The first floor of our home has the old radiators.  I found a company that makes custom radiator covers that really look like beautiful furniture, but are still functional.  I'm hanging simple bamboo shades in place of the curtains.

I also orderd a new coffee table to replace the ottoman and new area rug.

Here's a rough idea of the floor plan I'm working towards:

I'll post next time with some more information on furniture sources and which paint color I chose for the walls.  

It's so good to be back! :)

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